A few weeks ago I was headed to a consultation for a client who wanted a decomposed granite patio installed. Earlier that day, I passed a front yard that was a classic example of some of the problems with decomposed granite installations. DG is a great material, but it is important to understand its limitations and maintenance requirements to keep it looking as good as the day it was installed.
Decomposed Granite’s Problems:
1- Rain and DG: DG is a combination of small pieces of granite gravel, and granite fines (basically granite sand). The fines is what allows DG to compact and makes it well suited for paths. The fines however, have a tendency to get muddy in winter. This is something to consider when designing paths that lead into a home, or something to be aware of with dogs and other pets that make leave DG prints inside.
2- Shady Areas and DG: Because DG has fines material and gets muddy, it also can grow moss or weeds that keep it from looking its best. Again, DG is not a maintenance free material like a concrete walkway. It needs to be raked to remove weeds or moss, and may need to be redressed with a little bit of new material and periodically recompacted.
3- Drainage and DG: Ideally, DG paths should be slightly crowned to make them drain better and prevent areas of standing water. DG paths also must be installed away from drainage flows like downspouts and dripping gutters and rooflines that will wash away the material.
We have written extensively in the past about the different types of DG and its properties- read our past blog articles for more information:
–Decomposed Granite Types
-Is Decomposed Granite the Best for Paths?
-Our Portfolio of Pathway Installations